Category Statistics

Worshipped, but misunderstood

The meaning of p-value Statistics wears most of us who call ourselves “clinicians” out. The knowledge on the subject acquired during our formative years has long lived in the foggy world of oblivion. We vaguely remember terms such as probability…
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The cheaters detector

Pitfalls of statistics When we think about inventions and inventors, the name of Thomas Alva Edison, known among his friends as the Wizard of Menlo Park, comes to most of us. This gentleman created more than a thousand inventions, some…
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Pairing

The choice of the statistical test You will all know the case of someone who, after carrying out a study and collecting several million variables, addressed the statistician of his workplace and, demonstrating in a reliable way his clarity of…
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Achilles and Effects Forest

Publication bias Achilles. What a man! Definitely, one of the main characters among those who were in that mess that was ensued in Troy because of Helena, a.k.a. the beauty. You know his story. In order to make him invulnerable…
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Apples and pears

Study of heterogeneity in meta-analysis You all sure know the Chinese tale of the poor solitary rice grain that falls to the ground and nobody can hear it. Of course, if instead of falling a grain it falls a sack…
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Three feet of a cat

Collinearity in lineal multiple regression To look for three legs of a cat, or splitting hairs, is a popular Spanish saying. It seems that when one looks for three feet of a cat he tries to demonstrate something impossible, generally…
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In search of causality

Discontinuous regression In medicine we often try to look for cause-effect relationships. If we want to show that the drug X produces an effect, we have only to select two groups of people, one group we give the drug, the…
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Censorship

Survival tables and censored data In the best-known sense, censorship is the action of examining a work intended for the public, suppressing or modifying the part that does not fit certain political, moral or religious aspect, to determine whether or…
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A case of misleading probability

Bayes’ theorem Today we are going to see another of those examples where intuition about the value of certain probabilities plays tricks on us. And, for that, we will use nothing less than Bayes’ theorem, playing a little with conditioned…
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Do not be misled by the outliers

Robust scale parameters We saw in a previous post that the extreme values of a distribution, called outliers, can skew statistical estimates we calculate in our sample. A typical example is the arithmetic mean, which moves in the direction of…
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